Samantha Leal Senior Editor

Samantha Leal is the Senior Editor for Latina.com, where she edits and oversees the site's content with a focus on fashion, beauty and lifestyle.

She grew up in South Bend, Indiana (go Notre Dame!) and graduated from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University before setting out for New York City. Her work has been published by TheAtlantic.com, Glamour.com, Refinery29.com and more.

When she’s not working, you’ll find her reading (YA novels, mostly), watching too many YouTube videos and writing short stories. You can follow her on Twitter at @samanthajoleal and read her style and music blog at notesonstyle.com.

Favorite Latina fashionista: Nicole Richie

The Latino celeb I'd want to be best friends with: Selena Gomez

My first celebrity crush: Mike Vitar aka Benny ‘The Jet’ Rodriguez from the movie The Sandlot.

Something people don't know about me: I have a phobia of needles and blood.

Guilty pop culture addiction: Anything on The CW.

My Latina Role Model: Salma Hayek

Fun Memory from My First Day at Latina: My first day was a blur!

Two words that describe Elvis Crespo: Very interesting…

If I met Jennifer Lopez, I would: be a total fangirl. I've loved her since she was a fly girl on 'In Living Color'

Latino artist on my iPod right now: Pitbull

Favorite Interview with a Latino Celeb: Daddy Yankee or Adriana Lima

Favorite Latin dish: Mexican chorizo tacos

Favorite Spanish-Language Song: Como La Flor - Selena Quintanilla

Proudest Moment as a Latino: When the Wise Latina herself, Sonia Sotomayor, was named to the Supreme Court.

Selena Gomez and Orlando Bloom
Selena Gomez Dating Orlando Bloom?

It seems Selena might actually be moving on... with an older man. The 21-year-old star was seen getting cozy with Orlando Bloom on Saturday night. According to Page Six, the two were seen arriving in the same car for Chelsea Handler's show, and later left together. 

Bloom, 37, is currently going through an amicable divorce with supermodel wife Miranda Kerr. They have a 3-year-old son together. 


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Lupita Nyong'o and Alek Wek
WATCH: Lupita Nyong'o Meets Her Inspiration!

In a speech at the ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood event in February, "Mexi-Kenyan" and Oscar winner Lupita Nyong'o shared a heartfelt admission about model Alek Wek.

"She was dark as night, she was on all of the runways and in every magazine and everyone was talking about how beautiful she was," Nyong'o said. "I couldn't believe that people were embracing a woman who looked so much like me as beautiful."


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Students Honor Murdered Classmate With Emotional Vigil on Prom
Students Honor Murdered Classmate With Emotional Vigil on Prom

Heartbreaking. What should have been a night of young, carefree fun was instead a tear-filled memorial for the students of Jonathan Law High School in Milford, Connecticut. Dressed in their prom attire, the students made their way to the beach to remember fellow classmate Maren Sanchez, who was stabbed and killed earlier that day, reportedly after rejecting a prom proposal.


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Maria Menounos and Mario Lopez at the 2011 Emmy Awards
Mario Lopez Denies Feud Between Him and Maria Menounos

Mario Lopez is trying to squash the drama. After rumors flew that Maria Menounos was axed because of Lopez's wishes, the Extra host spoke out: “Those are just rumors,” the 40-year-old told Fox News Latino“She’s still at work every day. We’re fine. There is no truth to that.”


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Stars/Designers
Fashion Scoop: 6 Celebrities’ Favorite Designers!

When it comes to celebrities and fashion, figuring out your style and what looks great on a red carpet is key. These celebs have it down – sticking to tried-and-true designers that make them look absolutely amazing.  Here are some of their favorites:


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Eva Longoria at the Paycheck to Paycheck premiere
Eva Longoria Talks 'El Voto HIspano' & The Latina Vote

Eva Longoria is on a mission. Besides being an accomplished actress, director and producer, the 39-year-old activist is working hard to educate others about our political system, empowerment and human rights. That's why she's lending her support to a new documentary, El Voto Hispano, which explores the political power and electoral tendencies of the Latino community.

We caught up with Longoria to talk about the Kickstarter campaign, the biggest misconceptions of Latino voters and more. Read it all below!


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Your Newest Instagram Obsession: Genesis Gonzalez
Your Newest Instagram Obsession: Genesis Gonzalez

This pint-sized California girl has some big style. Check out this niñas cutest looks and follow her @miss_gabby_13!


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Maren Sanchez
Student Stabbed in Connecticut After Reportedly Rejecting Prom Proposal

A 16-year-old Connecticut honor student was stabbed and killed after reportedly rejecting a prom proposal. Maren Sanchez of Jonathan Law High School in Milford, Connecticut, was attacked on Friday around 7:15 a.m. She later died at the hospital.

Milford Police Chief Keith Mello said the assault happened in the hallway, after she reportedly rejected the prom invitation of a 16-year-old student. The student is in custody, with name withheld because he is a minor. 

The school was placed on lockdown and the junior prom has been postponed.


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Scary! Latinos Three Times More Likely to Die From Asthma Than Other Groups in U.S.
Scary! Latinos Three Times More Likely to Die From Asthma Than Other Groups in U.S.

Well, this is a bit terrifying. Latinos are three times more likely to die from asthma than other ethnic or racial groups in the United States, a new study from the Environmental Defense Fund reports.


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The 10 Best Dressed Latina Stars of the Week!
The 10 Best Dressed Latina Stars of the Week!

From the Billboard Latin Music Awards to the Tribeca Film Festival, our stars were out to see and be seen this week. Take a look at the most stylish stars!


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